My Best Friend Eddie

November 7, 2017


The stage is set up to look like a rec room in a Veterans Administration Hospital in the Psychiatric Ward. On left side of the stage there is a window with a wheelchair sitting in front of it, looking out. The stage light is dim, making the mood more down and sad. On the right side of the wheelchair there is a small, white, plastic table with a stack of letters sitting on top. To the left of the wheelchair there is a foldable, white plastic chair. The whole right side of the stage is blackened because it is not used. Sitting in the wheelchair, staring out the window is Charles. Charles is a former military soldier who fought in Vietnam. He’s 65-years-old with a receding hairline of grey, piercing brown eyes that you can see the horror and trauma he went through. Wrinkles formed around his eyes and lips, liver spots dotted on his hands and the naked spot on his head. Charles is wearing a white t-shirt with soup stains on it from lunchtime, red plaid pajama pants, and brown slippers. Sitting in the chair to his left is his best friend, Eddie.


CHARLES: I don’t know about you, Eddie, but I kind of miss fighting in Vietnam. I know it was a terrible thing to happen; all the deaths, the blood, the gun fires, the screaming, the alarms. (He stares out the window into the courtyard of the hospital.) But do you know what was good about it, Eddie? Looking up at the stars on a calm, quiet night, receiving letters from our loved ones, the feeling we got when we won the war, the victory. (A slight grin appears on his face as he looks at the small table beside him and picks up the stack of letters and sits them in his lap.)


Speaking of letters, I kept every single one I ever received. (He shuffles though the envelopes and reads the names of the people who sent them.) Most of these were from my wife, Esther. A couple from my mistress, Mary, who lived in North Carolina. (He smiles) Ah, Mary. What a looker. (He stares at her name on the letter.) Mary…Mary (He begins to whisper but his tone got louder and aggressive.) Mary! Mary! Mary! (He tears up the letters from her as he kept shouting.) She ruined my marriage! I lost my sweet, sweet Esther because of that harlot! (He breathes heavily and eventually calms down.) You’re right, Eddie, I need to just let it go. It was such a long time ago. Esther left me and I have to just accept that fact.


(He looks over at Eddie and smiles.) You have some stains on your uniform. You should have a nurse here wash it for you. Look, one is looking at us now. I think she likes you. (He nudges Eddie’s shoulder and the nurse just stares.) Hey, foxy lady, want to come over here to meet my friend, Eddie. (The nurse walks over.) Hey, Eddie, where you going? Don’t you want to meet this young fox? (The nurse looks in Eddie’s direction but doesn’t say anything.)


(About an hour later…) Hey, Eddie! Where’d you go, buddy? (He grins at Eddie.) I smell food coming from the kitchen. I wonder what we are having for lunch today. It’s gotta be better than those MCI’s they fed us during the war. We sure did have some bad times, didn’t we, Eddie? The food wasn’t the worst of it. I remember the day me and some other guys got separated from the unit and got lost in the jungle. It was so hot and those Vietcong found us hiding in the bushes. I remember I just started shooting and I think I shot a Vietcong. I’m not sure what happened after that, but that’s when they sent us home.


(He sighs heavily.) Boy, it was good to be home for a while. I got to come home to my beautiful Esther. I wasn’t even home a year and that old b**** up and left me for no reason. (He slams his fist down onto the small table beside him.) She just didn’t understand everything I went through in the war. No body could understand but you, Eddie. (Nurse walks up with his meditation in a syringe.) No! I don’t want that damn shot! (He slaps her hand away and the syringe goes flying across the room and several men in white uniforms run up and hold him down while the nurse picks up the syringe and shoves the needle in his arm.) Eddie! Help me! (Eddie turns away from Charles and begins to slowly walk away. You can see a big gouge in the back of his head and the back of his uniform is covered in blood.) Eddie, wait! You…you’re covered in blood. What happened to your head? (Eddie keeps walking) Oh, God. I did that to you, didn’t I? (Tears stream down his face as Eddie slowly fades away.)


ORDERLY: Who is he talking to? Who’s Eddie?






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